Claremont Graduate University’s MS and PhD programs in Botany focus on systematics and evolution of higher plants. The programs are offered in conjunction with California Botanic Garden, one of the nation’s premier research-focused botanic gardens.

Claremont Graduate University’s PhD in Botany is a research-intensive program with a robust fieldwork component. Located in a unique 86-acre learning environment dedicated to conservation of the state’s flora, program highlights include a botanical library, fully equipped molecular and anatomy laboratories, comprehensive herbarium, scanning electron microscope, greenhouses, and growth chambers. You’ll find abundant opportunities for hands-on research at California Botanic Garden, working alongside collegial faculty-mentors dedicated to advancing knowledge in the field. A seminar series addressing topics of systematic and evolutionary botany is offered weekly during each semester and draws attendees not only from our student body, but also from the biology research community, faculty, and students at nearby colleges and universities.

Botany students may pursue concentrations in the following subdisciplines:

  • Comparative morphology
  • Floristics
  • Molecular systematics
  • Monographic and revisionary studies
  • Phylogenetics
  • Plant anatomy
  • Plant geography
  • Population and conservation genetics
  • Reproductive biology

This program is STEM designated, allowing international students who hold F-1 visas to apply for OPT work authorizations for a total of 36 months (an initial 1-year period and a 24-month OPT STEM extension) of paid work experience in the U.S. after graduation.

Program at a Glance

72 units

5 years

*This estimate assumes full-time registration and pursuit of the degree. Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Cost Per Unit: $1,980



PhD in Botany

Featured Courses

BOT 371

Studies quantification of shape and its statistical analysis, as applied to diversity of plant form.

BOT 380
Advanced Vascular Plant Phylogenetic Systematics

Reviews current knowledge of relationships among vascular plants and the data that underpin that knowledge, including morphology, anatomy, embryology, and palynology.

BOT 401
Seminar Series

Provides a platform to participate in a semester-long series of seminars presented by outstanding visiting researchers.

BOT 412
Special Topics in Plant Systematics: Readings in Phylogenetics

Review and discuss phylogenetics based on the current literature.

BOT 418
Special Topics in Plant Systematics: Current Methodologies in Systematics

Introduces current methods utilized for systematics analysis.

Faculty & Research

  • Lucinda McDade profile image

    Lucinda McDade

    Professor of Botany
    Chair, Botany Department
    Executive Director, California Botanic Garden
    Judith B. Friend Director of Research

    Research Interests

    Family Acanthaceae; Role of hybridization in plant evolutionary history, phylogeny reconstruction, and plant reproductive biology; Tropical plants;

  • Travis Columbus profile image

    Travis Columbus

    Professor of Botany, Research Scientist

    Research Interests

    Agrostology (study of grasses), Plant systematics, Biological nomenclature, Phylogenetics

  • J. Mark Porter profile image

    J. Mark Porter

    Associate Professor of Botany
    Research Scientist

    Research Interests

    Phylogenetics, Systematics of Polemoniaceae, Classification, Evolution of pollination mechanisms

  • Carol A. Wilson profile image

    Carol A. Wilson

    Research Associate Professor of Botany

    Research Interests

    Genus Iris (Iridaceae); Phylogenetics and biogeography of plants, comparative morphology, and systematics

  • Naomi Fraga profile image

    Naomi Fraga

    Research Assistant Professor of Botany

    Research Interests

    Floristics in western North America; Plant conservation; Rarity and endemism in California; Systematics of Phrymaceae; Pollination biology

Request information about the Botany program

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Lucinda McDade

Professor of Botany
Chair, Botany Department
Executive Director, California Botanic Garden
Judith B. Friend Director of Research
T: 909-625-8767 x220